Chapter 19.

Waking up alone I felt a small panic grow within me, where was Johnny? I jumped out of the bed so quickly I lost my balance and slumped down on to the bed. I sat still for a moment trying to regain my composure, and as my sight came back into focus I stood up slowly. I looked down at my ever expanding figure and felt a distinct disgust to the bulbous bump that begged for attention beneath my t-shirt. With that feel of disgust came a strong guilty feeling, I knew this was not the emotions I should be feeling towards my own child. But the reality was that I was feeling these things, the naivety of before with emotions running high through Cameron's illness and his death I convinced myself I was going to be a Mom, and a good one at that. What had changed? Only my own perception.

"Kira", called a fresh toned Aude from somewhere close by. "Tell me you are awake girl".

Since I was already on my feet I refrained from shouting a response and simply opened the door. Close by, was a misconception, Aude was practically in my face when I opened the door. She smiled at me as she wiped her hands in a kitchen towel and took a step back from me. "Good morning", she chimed.

"Morning Aude, any idea where Johnny is?" I asked setting into the hall and closing the bedroom door behind me. Aude began to walk ahead of me, humming as she went.

"Last I seen he was out in the garden tending to some chores. I must say it is going to be very helpful to have a strong man like Johnny around! Not that us ladies need men to help us, but it is mighty helpful", she winked back at me and I mustered a smile.

"Oh that is OK so", I sighed a sense of relief flooded my system. I do not know what I had been expecting to hear, but I was just glad to hear Johnny had not gotten cold feet and ran into the wind never to be seen again.

"Anyway", Aude began, "You have some calls to make!" Unfortunately I did have some calls to make and I knew it would be best to get the toughest call out of the way with first. My Mother. I gave no response to Aude as she floated into the kitchen and left me to my own devices in the airy living room. The battel within myself had only begun, the thought of ringing my Mother made my heart flutter and my lungs shrink. I was fixated on the window as I watched two robins dance around each other, but silence filled my ears. I took a deep breath and dialled her number.

"Hello", her tired voice rang into my ear and my heart no longer fluttered it froze. "Hello", her voice became more agitated.

"Mom, it is Kira", I spurted out as uncontrollable tears flooded my eyes as my heart began its marathon race. There was dead silence as tears broke through the dams of my eyelids and waterfall'ed down my face.

"I can't do this anymore, where are you? I am coming to get you!", She said matter of factly and I heard the jingle of her keys as she ran up the stairs, the thumping of her feet giving her away and the loud banding on doors to wake up the rest of the house.

"Stop", I almost shouted and the noise of her rushing grew silent.

"Stop, stop! Kira you had us all freaking out here, what sort of game are you playing", she scolded.

"I am staying in Texas", I said as the tears receded.

"Kira you cannot stay in Texas, you are 17 with no money, no education and no job!" I could feel her anger bubbling.

"I want to put a plan in place to change that, I know it is a lot to ask but can ye come to Texas? Aude want's us all to sit down and discuss the future", I soothed.

"What has this Aude, got to do with anything?" She squeaked.

"Please", I pleaded and I was met by another bout of unbearable silence.

"I am going to send Milo to ye, I will be there as soon as I can. Until then Milo will help you sort this out, you know I cannot just up and leave work. I cannot tell anyone you fled the state Kira", the panic in her voice was obvious.
"It is ok Mom, I know you can't. When will Milo be here?" I asked.

"3 days I am going to ask him to drive, I think he needs the time to cool down on the journey there", she sighed.

"What does that mean?" I asked worried.
"Look baby, I am glad you called. I am sorry I am angry, please understand this is hard on us all", she whimpered and the unbearable guilt returned.

"I am so sorry!" I said trying to contain my emotions. This was my fault and I had to take ownership of that.

"3 days ok, text me the address so I can pop it onto the GPS for Milo. Love you", she said sounding like herself for the first time since I left.

"Will do. I love you, bye", I murmured and hung up the phone before my heart was beaten anymore.

I sighed and sat down on the living room chair. The more reality sat in, the more I felt an internal darkness grow.

"Kira, I do not mean to interrupt but is it ok if I join you", Aude asked standing in the opening between the kitchen and the living room. As always the most welcoming smile you could ever imagine spread across her cherub face. I nodded solemnly.

"This is all a mess, Mom was right. We should not have left, I have nothing left", I put my head in my hands.

"That is not true honey!" Aude said reaching out to me and grabbing my sweat soaked hand. "I did not mean to eavesdrop but paper thin walls here", she giggled and so did I, just a little.

"Paper thin walls", I smiled shaking my head and the smile still lingering.

"Look, do not worry about money. You still have your health insurance policy from home, we will fix it up to make sure it covers your medical costs for the birth in this state. You can take classes at home Kira, the magic of the internet today. So if you want to finish out your high school diploma I can organise for you to do that", she said and I trusted her every word.

"Why Aude? Why are you so kind to us? You do not have to do any of this!" I said looking into her bright eyes.

"Kira, it may not seem as such to you but having you and Johnny here is a blessing in disguise for me", she said and for the first time I heard sadness in her voice. "I have been unbearably lonely for a long time, and I have this property to share with no one. I am glad to have you here"

I felt Aude's pain in her words and really I wanted to know more, much more but Johnny has a way with timing.

"So dinner?" he asked scratching his head awkwardly as he broke the tense mood in the room. Aude gave my hand a rub and she stood up, swept quickly to Johnny's side and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Dinner is on its way", she gave him a smile and disappeared into the kitchen.

"It can't be dinner time already?" I asked shocked.

"It's pushing 3pm", he laughed, and "Dinner is early here".

I smiled at him and beckoned for him to sit down. "I have news!" I mustered.

He sat down quickly concern touching his eyes and he nodded at me to carry on.

"I talked to Mom she is sending Milo here until she can get here to discuss everything ", I said not overly concerned. However, Johnny seemed to be growing uncomfortable. "What is it?" I asked.

"Milo is my best friend Kira, how do you think he will feel about me and you living here. Permanently, together", he scowled.

"Good point", I shook my head. Did Johnny just put me and him in a sentence that insinuated a forever together? My head might literally exploded if people do not stop throwing emotional bombs my way.

Forever.

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